Nglish Reading and Stufying English Essay

When you have completed the assignment, please send it to your tutor to arrive no later than 15 December 2011. Remember to put a word count at the bottom of your assignment and to follow academic conventions as set out in the Assignment Guide.
Write an essay of 1,500 words in which you compare and contrast the two passages below, taken from Voltaireas Candide and Gronniosawas A Narrative. In your discussion, pay particular attention to how the contexts of Atlantic slavery inform the two texts.
As they drew near to the city, they came across a negro stretched out on the ground, with no more than half of his clothes left, which is to say a pair of blue canvas drawers; the poor man had no left leg and no right hand. a?Good God!a said Candide to him in Dutch. a?What are you doing there, my friend, in such a deplorable state?a a a?I am waiting for my master, Monsieur Vanderdendur, the well-known merchant,a answered the negro. a a?And was it Monsieur Vanderdendur,a said Candide, a?who treated you like this?a a a?Yes, Monsieur,a said the negro, a?it is the custom. Twice a year we are given a pair of blue canvas drawers, and this is our only clothing. When we work in the sugar-mills and get a finger caught in the machinery, they cut off the hand; but if we try to run away, they cut off a leg: I have found myself in both situations. It is the price we pay for the sugar you eat in Europe. Yet when my mother sold me for ten Patagonian A©cus on the coast of Guinea, she told me: a?My child, give thanks to our fetishes, and worship them always, for they will make your life happy; you have the honour to be a slave to our white masters, and therefore you are making the fortune of your father and mother.a? Alas! I donat know if I made their fortune, but they certainly didnat make mine. Dogs, monkeys and parrots are a thousand times less miserable than we are; the Dutch fetishes who converted me to their religion tell me every Sunday that we are all children of Adam, whites and blacks alike. I am no genealogist; but if these preachers are telling the truth, then we are all second cousins. In which case you must admit that no one could treat his relatives more horribly than this.a
a?a?Oh Pangloss!a cried Candide. a?This is one abomination you could not have anticipated, and I fear it has finally done for me: I am giving up on your optimism after all.a
(Voltaire, Candide, pp. 51a 2)
About this time there came a merchant from the Gold Coast (the third city in GUINEA) he traded with the inhabitants of our country in ivory, &c. he took great notice of my unhappy situation, and inquired into the cause; he expressed vast concern for me, and said, if my parents would part with me for a little while, and let him take me home with him, it would be of more service to me than any thing they could do for me. a He told me that if I would go with him I should see houses with wings to them walk upon the water, and should also see the white folks; and that he had many sons of my age, which should be my companions; and he added to all this that he would bring me safe back again soon. a I was highly pleased with the account of this strange place, and was very desirous of going. a I seemed sensible of a secret impulse upon my mind, which I could not resist, that seemed to tell me I must go. When my dear mother saw that I was willing to leave them, she spoke to my father and grandfather and the rest of my relations, who all agreed that I should accompany the merchant to the Gold Coast. I was the more willing as my brothers and sisters despised me, and looked on me with contempt on the account of my unhappy disposition; and even my servants slighted me, and disregarded all I said to them. I had one sister who was always exceeding fond if me, and I loved her entirely; her name was LOGWY, she was quite white, and fair, with fine light hair, though my father and mother were black. a I was truly concerned to leave my beloved sister, and she cryad most sadly to part with me, wringing her hands, and discovered every sign of grief that can be imagined. Indeed if I could have known when I left my friends and country that I should never return to them again my misery on that occasion would have been inexpressible.
(Gronniosaw, A Narrative, reprinted in The Renaissance and Long Eighteenth Century, p. 267)
Guidance notes
In preparing your answer, you should read Voltaireas Candide and Gronniosawas A Narrative (Reading 7.1 in a?Readings for Part 2a in The Renaissance and Long Eighteenth Century), and the teaching material in Chapters 6 and 7 of The Renaissance and Long Eighteenth Century. You should also listen to the four audio recordings for Part 2.
The question requires you to complete a number of different tasks: (1) to undertake close analyses of the two passages; (2) to compare and contrast the two passages; and (3) to discuss how the passages are informed by the contexts of Atlantic slavery. You should also be sure to allocate roughly the same amount of words to your analysis and discussion of each of the two passages. As there are several different requirements for this assignment, it is important that you plan your essay in some detail before you start writing in order to ensure that you address all of them.
The close analysis of the passages should provide the starting point, as you identify for each text their most striking literary/linguistic qualities: What is the identity of the narrator(s)? What is the tone of the passage? What narrative is recounted? How are family members/slave traders/other characters depicted? Are there any distinctive literary images? Is there an argument implicit in the narrative?
Once you have identified the most striking literary/linguistic features in the two passages, you should summarise what qualities they share, and how they are different. This process of a?compare and contrasta will lead to you reflect upon the respective contexts of Voltaire and Gronniosaw, and ask: How did Voltaireas and Gronniosawas respective contexts predispose them to write about slavery in these different ways?